Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

MLWR uses balance to outlast Cloquet

 

September 21, 2017



The Class A Moose Lake/Willow River Rebels combined for better overall balance to come back from being down a game twice and wore down Cloquet before overcoming the Class AA Lumberjacks in the fifth and deciding game to win 3-2 in Moose Lake on Tuesday, September 12. The Rebels remained undefeated at 4-0. Cloquet dipped to a record of 1-4.

The marathon match lasted two and one-quarter hours in the new, but hot gym. The game scores were 24-26, 25-18, 23-25, 25-15 and 15-5. Both of the games MLWR lost were back-and-forth battles, including falling behind 1-5 in the third game and fighting back hard. The unshaken and determined Rebels had a very strong fourth game to gain confidence and momentum. MLWR stayed on an aggressive attack and jumped to leads of 5-1 and 11-3 to trounce Cloquet 15-5 in the final game.

The Rebels were quite effective on the attack and they were very tenacious on defense. The offense scored 48 points on attacks. MLWR’s defense racked up more than 50 digs.

The Rebels’ hitters, taking advantage of DonnaMae Smith’s 36 set assists (7.2 per game), had three girls in double figures on kills. Maddie Olson, with her second match in a row in double figures, had 14 kills. Lauren Pederson, with her second very good all-around match in a row, had three ace serves and reached double digits with 10 kills. Ruby Mohelsky had her best production of the season as she also had 10 kills. Jamie Benzie had eight kills.

The Rebels’ defense was impressive as a key component in the victory. MLWR had 52 digs in the match. MLWR was led by Josie and Jamie Benzie with 18 and 16 digs, respectively. Pederson, Dobosenski, Smith and Grutkoski added nine, eight, five and four digs, respectively.

A final but crucial factor leading to MLWR’s success was its ability to slightly tip the scales against Cloquet’s very good blocking abilities. Olson had four solo stuffs. Mohelsky had two solo blocks and she combined with Smith for two assisted blocks. Pederson added one solo block.

Rebels lose first match of season to Vikings

The Rebels lost their first match of the season to dip a bit to 4-1 as they were defeated in three games by the Cook County Vikings in Grand Marais on Thursday, September 14. The game scores were 25-21, 25-21 and 25-13. Cook County’s defense frustrated MLWR’s offense with no less than 62 digs.

Maddie Olson had her third match in a row to make the double digits in the attack department as she had 10 kills. DonnaMae Smith had 19 set assists. Jamie Benzie and Josie Benzie each had 14 digs.

The very successful Class A MLWR co-op team travels to Esko to take on the Class AA Eskomos on Thursday, September 21. MLWR steps up one class in competition on Tuesday, September 26, as they head to Duluth East with an early 5:30 p.m. start.

 

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